When faced with a difficult situation most times we fail to look beyond but God, who sees all things and knows all things, calls for us to trust Him. He sees beyond the situation. He sees the outcome. He tells us what the outcome will be but because we are unable to see it for ourselves, we do not believe. We live in the here and now. We fail to see beyond.
King Ahaz was faced with a terrifying situation. Syria and Israel had joined forces and were trying to persuade Ahaz to join their coalition against Assyria. Fear gripped Ahaz and the people. God sent Isaiah and his son, Shear Jashub to Ahaz with this message, “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smouldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.”
God assured Ahaz that what he perceived as a threat was all it was. Nothing was going to come of it. God told him that the invasion of Judah would not take place, it will not happen. Rezin, the head of Damascus was hardly someone you would to be fear and Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. In other words, these two forces had no power behind them. It seemed almost preposterous to even be concerned about them. They were all smoke and no fire. God called Ahaz to stand firm in his faith instead of letting fear get the better of him (Isaiah 7).
God was encouraging the king to look beyond the circumstances and to see that they were not as bad as he thought. But, Ahaz trusted in what he saw right in front of him and did not follow God’s advice. Instead he turned to Assyria for help.
Isaiah, on the other hand, looked beyond the situation and was able to se that God was in control. That is why he was able to say, “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him” – Isaiah 8:17.
When faced with a situation we tend to worry. We fear the worst. We fear the outcome. But God tells me not to react the way others would in a similar situation. Like Isaiah, we are not to fear what others fear or dread. No matter what season we are in or what the situation is, God calls for us to stand firm in our faith or we will not stand at all. If we don’t stand firm on the word of God, keep our eyes on Him or cling to His promises, we will crumble under the weight of fear and despair.
We are to look beyond the circumstances and see the glimmer of hope that God always offers us. For Ahaz it was the defeat of the two enemies who were rising up against Judah. For Ahaz it was the sign God was offering to give him so that his faith may be strengthened. For Ahaz it was the promise of a child whose name means, God with us. For Ahaz it was the assurance that he and the people were not alone. God was with them. God was trying to show Ahaz that because He was with Judah, the king had nothing to fear. He could trust in his God instead of man and depend on Him to reveal the future instead of consulting the dead.
There are a lot of us who like king Ahaz don’t see beyond what is in front of us. We are in situations that we want to get out of so we rely on our own strength or someone else’s. We try to solve the problem on our own first then when that doesn’t work, we seek help elsewhere. As a last resort, we seek God. God should be the first source we turn to for help. We should be like King Jehoshaphat whose enemies were defeated because of his faith in God. Like Jehoshaphat, we should immediately pray. We should admit, “Lord, we have no power over what has come against us. We don’t know what to do but our eyes are on You” (2Ch 20:12).
We should look beyond self and others and seek the God who promised, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” – Isaiah 41:10.